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>> i supported the emergence of that new understanding and the supreme court made it the law of the land in the helen mcdonald decisions. in 2008 and 2010. of that pair of decisions demolishes the slippery slope theory of those who oppose basically all firearms regulation on the view that once we permit any new firearms regulation at all, we will be inviting the government step-by-step to come ever closer to disarm the people.
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leaving only the police and military with firearms. with heller and mcdonald on the books, supreme court in its own words took certain policy choices off the table. thereby cleared the path a reasonable regulations to be enacted without fear that those policy choices would either open the door to unlimited government control, or be imperiled by exaggerated interpretation of the second amendment. as justice alito put in mcdonald, there's no longer any basis for such doomsday proclamations. justice scalia speaking for the court and heller said at the end of his opinion. under our interpretation, the constitution leaves open a variety of regulatory tools for combating the problem of gun violence in this country. the court was explicit in saying what some of those tools include. they include come anytime am quoting from the core,
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conditions and qualifications on the transfer of firearms to keep them out of dangerous hands, including felons and the mentally ill. they include long-standing regulatory measures to keep firearms out of particularly sensitive places. they include complete bans of firearms that are quote not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes such as short-barreled shotguns. and firearms that are especially dangerous or unusual such as m-16 rifles and the like. that was a list the court explicitly said was not meant to be exhaustive. they include other regulations designed to protect public safety without cutting into the core right of the second amendment protects the right of self-defense in the home. those legitimate other regulations certainly encompass advance on a legal straw purchasers and gun trafficking, both of which can totally
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frustrate any system of background checks or gun registration. and the kind of regulation that do not trigger close scrutiny under the second amendment obviously include universal background checks on registration systems for the simple reason that systems with loopholes and less than universal coverage our calculator to be invaded by those very people who have no right to bear arms under the second amendment. people we cannot safely entrust with lethal weapons. finally, those other obviously valid regulations, ones that do not trip the second amendment's trigger, have to include bans on high-capacity magazines, and especially lethal weapons that someone can keep firing for 10 rounds or even more without reloading. banning those weapons gives people a chance to escape, and gives the police a chance to interrupt the slaughter.
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a category of valid regulations under heller, in my view, also covers bands and weapons designed for assault or military use, rather than for lawful civilian use. and the court did not nearly say that such regulations would ultimately survive second amendment scrutiny. it said that heller would not even quote cast its shadow of doubt on such measures should they be considered in the future. now we should have no illusions that adopted measures like these nationally will completely solve the epidemic of gun violence in america. more will be needed to we clearly need to address metal health issues as well as other potential contributors to gun violence such as violent video games, films that glorify murder and mayhem, and other aspects of our violent culture. but if we do nothing until we can do everything, we will all have the blood of innocent human beings on our hands, and we will
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besmirch the constitution in the process. just in closing let me say that our constitution, as many have wisely observed, does not make the perfect enemy of the good, and whatever else it is, it is not a suicide pact. a suicide pact that condemns us to paralysis in the face of a national crisis of domestic bloodshed. thank you very much, thank you your. >> ms. wortham. >> good morning, chairman durbin, members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to speak today. it's really an honor. we discussed a lot about law this morning, and i'm an attorney. i love the law. i respected. i think it's great but i would like to talk a little bit about life and the human impact that this issue has on me, my family and the families we have here today.
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so to do that i'd like to take us back to may 19, 2010. on may 19 i had a good day. i was having a good day. went to line dancing class with my mother. we did every wednesday that spring. as you can imagine that was quite entertaining. when we got home a friend asked me to go scout birthday party locations with her for the big 25. so i of course said yes. we went out and we had a good time. on my way home i got a call from a mother which was not unusual because we speak at 1000 times a day. we still do. this call was different. she was crying at this time and she said sandy, come home. and she continued to cry, and she said they tried to rob him. so the him she was speaking of was my older brother, thomas wortham the fourth will make. we were raised in a great family, full of characters but craig. are parents taught us we could do everything, the everything, the world was ours. they taught us we had a responsibility to our community
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and to people who didn't have the opportunities that we had. and that's how thomas lived his life. he dedicated his professional life to service. he served two tours of duty in iraq with our national guard and is also a chicago police officer protecting the southside of chicago where we lived. earlier that week thomas had traveled here to washington, d.c. to participate in activities for national police week honoring fallen law enforcement officers and then travel to nuke city to run in a race in honor of a chicago police officer have been killed in the line of duty a year before. so on the evening of march -- may 19, thomas the tank our parents house when i left to show the pictures of police week activities. so he finished, they ate dinner and he went to lead. actually delete my father went with them to the door to walk met. i wasn't there obviously but according to reports this is what happened. two men approached thomas as he
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went to get on his motorcycle, pulled a gun on him and tried to take his motorcycle. now, thomas was a police officer so he was armed or told them he was a police officer. my dad, standing at the porch saw this happening to my dad was also armed. he had a gun and as. he went in the house to get the gun. he came back out. so there was an exchange of gunfire between the offenders, my brother and my father. when i got the call from my mother i had no idea how bad this wasn't. no idea. i just knew she was crying. she is a crier sometimes so i just knew i needed to get him. shortly after of the call traffic was stopped. the police have blocked of all the streets on way to our house. so i got out and started to run. i just had let me run home and see what's going on. and as i ran, an ambulance passed me. and steel come in m in my mind d no idea does anything to do with thomas. i have no idea how bad it was but i'm running down the street.
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in retrospect it was like a movie because it's like slow motion. so in and those passes me but i know now that thomas was in the and it was because he'd been shot and that's what all the streets were blocked off. so i go to the house. they rushed him to the hospital. we get there, we waited, prayed a lot, we waited. but thomas died. strangely, the week before our couple weeks before thomas died in an interview with the "chicago tribune," because there've been two shootings across the street from our house and a couple of months before that, and he was the president of the park advisory counsel, and in the interview i'll read a direct quote. he said, when people think of the southside chicago, they think violence. and he went on to say, we are going to fix it so it doesn't happen again. so thomas is dead, obviously, but i'm here today, my parents are here today. i see all of these families are here today because we still
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believe we can fix it. so outside the standard this hearing has been called a discussed the ways we can respect the second amendment and protect our communities. i have to be very honest and of those are some of the people left the cubs i was very, i'm confused as to where we're having disagreement about this. like i said, i understand the law. i respect our constitution, but to me this isn't about taking a way the law for right to own guns. we are not anti-gun people. my family estaban at icann family. my brother and father were chicago police officers and carried guns most of the time. that's how i was raised, but they were trained and they were law abiding citizens. i value and respect the right, the rights that are provided by our constitution. however, i find it very hard to believe that our founders intended those rights to go so unreasonably unchecked. it isn't about the right to take away pashtun it isn't about the right to lawfully own guns. this is not trying our best to keep guns out of the hands of
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the people, like people who killed my brother. they didn't walk into a gun store and buy a handgun because all the reports are right, they would have been able to do so. they got the guns the same way that many ill intended people receive guns in this country. they body on the street. it's also a reality that the gun didn't arrive in chicago on its own. again according to reports it was traffic from a posh up in mississippi. chairman, you spoke about his earlier. according to news reports a gun trafficker went to mississippi, used straw purchasers to buy multiple handguns from that shop and brought those guns to chicago to sell the gang members. and you spoke very well about this earlier and that's a huge problem we are talking about. and for me as someone who has been personally affected by this i can accept that we can do better than that. i can't accept we can't fix that problem. if we know as everybody who does, that many, many criminals obtain their guns through street purchases easily, then i feel
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like we have a responsibility to address that problem. and we have an opportunity through this body to do that to the only people who should be disturbed by gun laws are people who shouldn't have guns in the first place. law-abiding citizens shouldn't be disturbed by the proposals here today. so when we speak about the constitution and all the rights afforded by the constitution, i think we would also be well served remember the words of another document in our countries history. so we talked earlier about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness your while, those things are taken away from thomas when he was 30, and quite frankly our rights to those things have been affected by this situation. so we talk about lawful gun ownership to my brother owned a gun. my father owned a gun. but the fact that they were armed that i didn't prevent thomas' murder. so we need to do more to keep guns out of the wrong hands in the first place, and i don't think that makes us anti-gun people. i think that makes us
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pro-law-abiding citizens who want to live life without the constant fear of this violence as a result of guns. i'm not to say that anyone law would change what happened to thomas but image is a i think we could do better. this isn't about me, thomas, my family or anyone them in general. this is about our country and now have a system to affect change, to do something about this, and i think it's time that we do that. so thank you. >> thank you for your testimony. i still would member your brothers of service, and the comments that were made by some of his friends of the national guard, and others in law enforcement. he was an amazing individual. sad that we lost them. i'm sure that he is looking down smiling at his mom and dad and sister who stand up for him today. ms. hupp. >> thank you, mr. chairman, members, speaking for myself today and not in any official capacity. i've wanted to mention right off the bat that when you opened the
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proceedings here you asked all of the victims of gun violence to stand, and i hesitated. but honestly i don't feel myself as a victim of gun violence. i suppose of as a victim of a maniac who happened to use a gun as a tool. and i see myself as a victim of the legislators that we have at the time that left me defenseless. so that's why i hesitated. i didn't go -- grow up in a house with guns. when i was 21 and a move that on my own i was given a gun by a friend and taught how to use it. and then i had a patient when i was in the city of houston who was the district attorney, an assistant district attorney in houston. and he actually convinced me to carry the gun, which at that time was illegal in the state of texas to he said susy, you don't see this stuff, id. you need to carry a weapon and nobody will mess with you. several years later in 1991, my
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parents and i went to have lunch at his local cafeteria with a friend of mine who is managing the cafeteria that day. we finished eating when all of a sudden this guy drove a pickup truck, came crashing in maybe 15 feet from me. of course, we thought it was an accident. and i rose up and begin to go to help the people that he had knocked over. but then we heard gunshots. and my father and i immediately got down on the floor. we turn the table up in front of us. my mom got down behind us. and the shooting continued. at that time in 91, we weren't seeing these mass shootings that we're seeing now so i was waiting for him to say something like all right, everybody puts her waltz upon the table, or a thought maybe it was a hit. maybe there was somebody important in there. but the shooting continued. i'm going to tell you, it took a good 45 seconds, which is an eternity, to realize that the guy was simply going to walk
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around, take aim, pull the trigger, go to the next persons, taking, pull the trigger. he was executing people. when i did realize i thought i've got this guy. i reached for my purse that was on the floor next to me, realize i had a perfect place to probably aren't. he was up to everybody else in the restaurant was down. then i realized that if you want to earlier i had made the stupidest decision of my life. i had begun leaving my gun out in the car because i did what most normal people would do. i wanted to be a law-abiding citizen. i didn't want to get caught with a gun and maybe lose my license to practice. i remember looking around and thinking great, what do i do now, throw a shawl -- throw a salt shaker adding? at that point my father got my attention. he said got to do some become he's going to kill a but and you. i tried holding down by the shirt collar. but when he saw what he thought was a chance, he went at the
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guy. you have to understand though, a man with a gun in a crowded room has complete control. my dad covered maybe half the distance, and the guy just turned and shot him in the chest. mmy dad went down in the aisle maybe seven or eight feet from me, and he was still alive and conscious, but as dreadful as this may sound, i saw the when and i basically wrote them off at that point. the good news is that it may be gunmen change direction slightly. instead of coming directly towards me he went off to my left. and that the point somebody way at the back of the restaurant broke out another window. i renewed hearing the crash and thinking here comes another one. but instead i saw people getting out that way. so i looked up over the top of the table. when the gunman had his back to me, i stood up, grabbed my mother but which are called and i said come on, come on, we've got to get out of here. and my feet grew wings.
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i made it out that back window, rain into my manager friend that was coming out a side door, and he said thank god you're all right. and i said yeah, but dad's been hit and it's really bad. and i turned to say something to my mother, and realized that she hadn't followed me out. now, to wrap the story up, the police officer, several of them were patients of mine, told me a few days later a field in the gap. they said that they were actually one building away in a conference, and in an odd twist of gun control fate, the hotel where they were having the conference, the manager there didn't want them to be wearing their guns, and potentially offending any of our science professor. so she asked him to leave the guns in their car. so precious minutes were lost while they retreated their guns from their locked cars. they said when i got over there, worked their way into the broken window behind a pickup truck,
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they did note the gunman was. there were bodies everywhere, but they said they did see a woman out in the aisle on her knees cradling a mortally wounded man. they said they watched as some this 30 something year old man walked up to her. she said she looked up at him, he put a gun to her head, she looked down at her husband and he pulled the trigger. that's how they knew who the gunman was. they said all they have to do is fire a shot into the ceiling and they got immediately went to a alcove area. exchange a little gunfire with him and then put a bullet in his own head. 23 people were killed that day, including my parents. didn't occur to me at the time, but mom wasn't going anywhere without debt. they just had their 47th wedding anniversary. so you may think that i was angry at the guy who did it, but the truth is that's like being mad at a rabid dog that you
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don't be mad at a rabid dog. he take a behind the bar and kill it but you don't be mad at it. but i've got to tell you, i was mad at my texas legislator cannot honestly believe they legislating out of the right to protect myself and my family, and i would much rather be sitting in jail right now with a felony offense on my head and have my parents alive. with that, i thank you. >> thank you very much. we have six minutes left on this roll call. so mr. cooper, i'm going to recognize you and i can't leave a senator will ask daniel webster to wait, but if you don't mind, mr. cooper, if you will testify will take a recess and then return soon. we have three votes so maybe a half-hour, 40 minutes to answer, and maybe sooner. mr. cooper. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. members of the subcommittee, i am very honored to be here today
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to discuss this important subject matter and share my thoughts with you. i am especially humbled to be, to the emotional testimony we have from the victims of senseless violence, and it makes it difficult to return to drive legal subject matters, but that is my task. supreme court's recent decisions in heller and mcdonald provide authoritative guidance for interpreting and applying the second amendment. so it is important first to identify the pertinent principles established by those decisions. first, the second amendment protects an individual right that belongs to all americans. indeed the court repeatedly emphasize in both heller and donald that the inherent and pre-existing right to self-defense is the core and essential component of the second amendment right itself. second, the fundamental second amendment right to arms is entitled to no less respect than other fundamental rights
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protected by the bill of rights as the court emphasized in mcdonald, it is not to be treated as a second class rights or singled out for special, and especially unfavorable treatment. 30, the second amendment is enshrined, these are the courts work, enshrined with a scope that was understood to have when the people adopted it, whether or not future legislatures, or yes, even future judges think that scope to a broad. this is from heller, is expressed admonition that all government officials including members of this body of course are both bound to respect and obey the command of the second amendment as it was understood in 1791. fourth, and relatedly, the line between permissible and impermissible arms regulations is not to be established by balancing the core individual rights affected by the second amendment against purportedly competing government interest.
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this balance has already been struck for the second amendment as the court put it is a very product of an interest bouncing by the people. with these principles in mind let's recall the text of the second amendment. it provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not infringe. vietnam it is thus one of the very few enumerated constitutional provisions that specifically protects the possession and use of a particular kind of personal property. arms. it follows that there are certain arms that law-abiding, responsible adult citizens have an absolute inviolable right to acquire, possess and use. indeed, the heller court made clear the second amendment core protection is no less absolute than the first amendment's protection of the expression of unpopular opinion. this is what it says to the second amendment is no different from the first amendment, and
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whatever else it leads to future evaluation it surely elevates above all other interests of the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home. let mlet me repeat that. the amendment elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home. the government, in other words, may know more prevent a law-abiding responsible citizen from keeping an operable fire on in his bedside table drawer that may prevent him from keeping a copy of the collected works of shakespeare, or his bible, or his car and in that drawer. the key question then is what arms are protected by the second amendment? heller and mcdonald answer that question. of those weapons that are income and the courts words, are of the
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kind of the kind in common use for lawful purposes like self-defense. conversely, the second amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, end quote. and applying that common use of text, heller flatly and categorically struck down the district of columbia gun ban because it amounted to a prohibition of an entire class of arms, i'm quoting, that is overwhelmingly chosen by an american -- excuse me, society for the lawful purpose of self-defense. the constitutionality of pending proposed to ban certain arms, thus turns on whether the ban semiautomatic rifles, shotguns and pistols are of the kind that are in common use for lawful purposes in this nation. and even as professor tribe conceits, standard magazines holding more than 10 rounds and
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the firearms outfitted for them are by any reasonable measure of in quite common use in the united states. because s. 150 outlaws fire arms in standard magazines that are of the kind in common use for lawful purposes, it is unconstitutional. but even if one were to apply a balancing check, s. 150s ban on automatic assault fire arms and standard magazines could not pass even intermediate scrutiny. and, mr. chairman, my time is up and hopefully i will be able to address these points further in the questions and answers. thank you. >> thanks, and thanks for your patience and understanding. we will stand in recess. i will return as quickly as i can. [inaudible conversations]
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>> this hearing of the constitution subcommittee will reconvene. i thank you for your patience. we had several votes on the floor, and now breaking for lunch but we are going to keep working. professor, thanks for your patience, and please proceed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. in 2010, guns were used in more than 31,000 deaths, 11,000 of which were homicides. guns were also used to -- [inaudible] the social costs of gun violence that year was estimated to be $174 billion,
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12 million of which was directed towards by taxpayers. last month, i and more than 20 other leading researchers and gun policy experts gathered at johns hopkins to share our research at a summit on reducing gun violence in america. i referred to the committee the full findings from the summit that which is published in a book that edited with john burnett. they were policy recommendation that we believe would reduce gun violence. including the following. establishment of universal background check system, strengthening laws to reduce firearm trafficking, expanding incentives for states to provide information about disqualifying health conditions, to the knicks system, banning the future sale and possession of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines. these policies enjoyed broad
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support and according to professor tribe and constitutional experts from across the ideological spectrum, would not violate constitutional rights. i like to summarize the evidence that refutes common arguments against these proposals. the first is that our nation's high rate of homicide has nothing to do with gun availability yet when we compare the united states with other high-income countries, our rate of homicide is seven times higher because our rate of homicides with guns is 20 times higher. this gross disparity cannot be attributed to u.s. be more violent or crime-ridden generally because our rates of non-fatal crime and adolescent fighting our average among high-income countries. most of the difference is likely due to the weaknesses in our law that allow dangerous people to have guns. another claim is that gun control laws don't work because criminals will obey them and will always find a way to get a gun through theft or the illegal
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market. this faulty logic can be used to argue against the need for any type of law because lawbreakers don't obey laws. the truth is that laws such as background check requirement for all gun sales and other laws to combat gun trafficking help law enforcement to keep guns from prohibited individuals. opponents of gun control point to criminals obtaining guns from the underground market as proof that regulations are pointless. but the weaknesses in current federal firearms laws are the very reason that criminals are able to obtain firearms from those underground sources. data from a national study of state prison inmates indicates that about 80% of gun offenders acquired their handguns in transactions with unlicensed private sellers, a category of transactions that current federal law exempts from background checks.
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only 10% of gun offenders report that they stole the gun that they used in crime. this argument from opponents stronger gun laws also implies that criminals have no difficulty in obtaining guns. this is also inconsistent with the facts. if guns are so easy for criminals to get, why is it that only 29% of robberies reported in the national crime victimization survey did the robber use a gun? .. >> or a private seller to pass a
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background check to obtain a perm. we found that the diversion of guns to criminals shortly after the retail sale abruptly doubled, and the gun homicide rate increased by 25% when, after missouri repealed its law. during this same time period, gun homicide rates nationally dropped 10%. in our new book, researchers reported examples in which state laws prohibited the severely mentally ill from owning guns did increase violence. to -- opponents claim we don't need to pass new gun laws, we just need to enforce the current ones. the problem, of course, with this argument is that federal gun laws are currently written in ways that make it difficult to hold firearms sellers
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accountable as was described in previous testimony. there's no statute defining or outlawing straw purchases or gun trafficking, standards of evidence are high and penalties are weak relative to the seriousness of the crime of supplying criminals with firearms. the amendment to protect licensed gun dealers who sell many guns or that are subsequently recovered from criminals with trace data. i've published research showing how this increases the diversion of guns to criminals from suspect gun dealers. opponents also claim that requiring background checks for all gun sales is too great of a burden on gun purchasers to justify. we just completed a large national survey in which we found 84% of gun owners and 74% of nra members reported they supported laws requiring a background which can for all gun sales. in the 14 states that currently require background checks for
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all handgun sales including private sales, 89% -- nearly 9 out of 10 gun owners -- supported universional background checks -- universal background checks. apparently, they consider any inconvenience to be acceptable because they want to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. it's been claimed that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. this call to arms suggests the best way to reduce violence is to allow and even encourage legal gun owners to carry guns in public places. the best evidence that so-called right to or carry laws do not reduce violent crime and may actually increase aggravated assaults. calls to do away with restrictions on concealed gun carrying suggests everyone who can legally own a gun is a good guy or gal. but research on people who are
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incarcerated for crimes committed with guns in states with conditions for legal gun ownership mirror the federal standards, 60% of those gun offenders were legally qualified to own a gun. many of those convictions -- [inaudible] finally, some say that banning the sale of assault weapons and large capacity magazines would not enhance public safety. assault weapons and guns with large capacity ammunition feeding devices are overrepresented in mass shoot, and in these mass shootings involving assault weapons typically involve more victims per stint than mass shootings with other weapons. although mass shootings are shootings in which an assailant fires more than ten rounds are relatively uncommon, there are victims and family members of
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victims here today who would not have experienced the pain and loss of gun violence if their assailants had not been legally able to purchase assault weapons and large capacity magazines. >> thank you. thank you for your testimony. let me, mr. cooper, let me address initially the heller decision as you saw it and the sub sequence decisions, and i'm going to ask professor tribe to respond or comment. it strikes me that what heller said is the absolute prohibition of gun ownership is unconstitutional under the second amendment. what i hear you argue on the other side, and you even used the provocative word "absolute" in your testimony, that there is an absolute right of individuals to own certain arms, common arms. i'm wondering how you square that with the language of heller where justice scalia went on to specify all of the regulations that he would find permissible,
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and he said this is not an exhaustive list. but he went through a list of regulations that would limit the right to own arms, certainly inferring there not your ownership or use is not absolute. he included weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, prohibitions on the possessions of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms, laws prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons, laws regulating the storage of firearms to prevent accidents. if you concede even one of those things, then to say that the second amendment right to bear arms is absolute just kind of falls on its face. how long has it been since we've had restrictions on the ownership of machine guns under the federal law? it's been quite a few years if i'm not mistaken. they go back to the era of the 1930s if i'm not wrong about
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that. so how do you reconcile that? how can you say this is an absolute right in light of scalia's statement? >> thank you, mr. chairman, for that question, because i want to hasten to clear up confusion about my use of that term. it is not my position that the second amendment is unlimited. it never has been, and it certainly couldn't be after heller. it makes clear that the kinds of limitations on the second amendment right that you have just articulated accurately from the decision itself are historically-bound limitations and permissible restrictions that governments can place upon gun ownership and gun use. what i tried to be careful to say, though, is that at its core -- and this is, i believe, what heller does make clear -- at its core that is, and
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regardless of what one may argue is the core of the second amendment, it's clear from heller that it is the use of arms, arms as that term is used in the second amendment itself, for self-defense within the home, the place where it is most acute as the court said for the use of arms to be available. it is not my position that any arms are protected by the second amendment. you've just mentioned m-16s. i don't think that an individual, a law-abiding individual has a right to an m-16 even in his home. but it is my view that there are within the universe after arms, there are certain arms that are absolutely protected. and you can't completely disarm an individual in his home. heller, if it stands for nothing
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else, it stands for that. and so the question before the committee, before you, mr. chairman and the others, is what are those protected arms. where does that line fall. >> okay. >> and it certainly falls at m-16s. >> so, professor, i'm going to let the professor respond here to this argument that we're talking about the instrument, the weapon as opposed to many other things. tell me your reaction to that. >> mr. chairman -- >> you need to turn your -- >> thank you. much as i like and respect my friend chuck cooper, i just don't think he answered your question. the supreme court did not suggest in heller or mcdonald or in any other case that uniquely within the constitution the second amendment protects a certain fixed set of objects. i mean, somehow magically the m-16 machine gun floats from our 1791 history as out of the range of protection. it's a much more nuanced
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inquiry. it's an inquiry into how common the weapon is, it's an inquiry into how essential it is to self-defense, and it's an inquiry into how unusually dangerous it is. the suggestion i get from mr. cooper's written statement in which he had more of a chance to elaborate is, basically, a regulation of guns is allowed only if that regulation fits within a kind of specific historical pedigree. and now he gets that pedigree i'm not sure quite where, from the 1930s, from the 1790s. but history has never been the sole determinant of the meaning of any constitutional provision for justice scalia or for any member of the court. it certainly isn't for the first amendment or the contract clause. and more than any other constitutional provision, the objects addressed in the second amendment inherently evolve with technology. guns today are exceptionally
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different from guns a hundred years ago, let alone guns at the time of the framing. and in light of the second amendment's peculiarly close relationship with technology, it would make even less sense to be bound solely by history. in his prepared statement, mr. cooper quoted from i think it was chicago v. mcdonald where the court said that the second amendment is like the other amendments. it's subject to a consideration of competing constitutional claims like claims to life, liberty, security and then here's the language, it's knotts to be singed -- it's not to be singled out for special treatment. and i think what mr. cooper is doing is he's elevating the second amendment above all of the other values. of course the court doesn't think that the second amendment should be subject to reevaluation and rejiggering and rebalancing just because we live in the 21st century. but he, as all of the examples that you, i think, carefully
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enumerated, is clearly open to the idea that a whole range of regulations designed not to strip people of their right of self-defense, but to balance that right, to accommodate that right to the severe dangers that we've seen these weapons provide, that that's permissible. >> so if i can, if senator cruz will allow, i want to ask one more question and then turn over to him. two weeks ago when we had this hearing i asked the head of the nra, mr. louisiana lapierre, i m an illustration of something that had happened to me in illinois. members of his organization feel very strongly about the second amendment, when i told them my views, they said you don't get it. you just don't understand it. it isn't about sporting, hunting, it isn't even about self-defense. it is about my right to bear arms so that i'm adequately
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armed if the government turns on me so that i can suppress tyranny if someone should turn on me. and i asked mr. lapierre, is that the standard? i expected him to say, no, but he didn't. he said in the historic context of the second amendment, that's what it was about. this was a brand new nation. they'd just thrown off the tyranny of england, and they wanted to preserve -- in mr. lapierre's words -- the right to bear arms to protect those basic freedoms as individuals. now what we're finding is something interesting growing out of this mindset. it is a form of nullification which we're seeing evidence of in my home state of illinois. there are sheriffs, duly elected sheriffs of counties who have publicly stated that they will not enforce any federal laws restricting the second amendment. they have taken the name of oath keepers. i have some of their literature in front of me. i'd like for you to comment on the history of the second amendment and this view of the
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right of an individual to defend himself/herself against a government that may by the ran call. is that built into this second amendment? >> well, justice and a lie ya in a very erudite discussion in heller talked about how part of the historic origin of the need to codify the second amendment was exactly the sense that shortly after the revolution and when we were still a forming nation when we really did not have a government under a rule of law that had cop formed itself -- conformed itself to a new constitution, that that was one of the elements. but he makes it clear that to make the second amendment sort of that purpose today, we'd have to let every individual have his own rocket launcher, his own tank. i mean, when -- if the government of the united states were ever to turn on any of us as individuals, it would not be enough to have a handgun or even
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a semiautomatic weapon. so clearly the purpose has now become one of self-defense against marauders, against criminals, against errant individual police officers but not against the entire government. and you mention null by case and the -- nullification and oath keepers. we've had a history of claims by states that they could nullify the operation within their own jurisdiction of federal laws that they didn't agree with. it was a bloody history. it was settled, i think, by the civil war if i remember my history correctly. and it's not a history that i would want to relive. the oath keepers, like anybody else, are entirely free to agitate, litigate, argue for their own view of the law. but as justice scalia said in 1990, democratic government must be prefer today a system in which -- preferred to a system
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in which each conscience is a law unto itself. and the nullification and position is not a constitutional doctrine. if taken seriously, it is illegal defiance of constitutional authority. >> thank you. senator cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank all of the witnesses for your time and preparation in being here. i apologize that with votes on the floor of and also other committee hearings that not all of us were able to be here for this very learned testimony. i'd like to give particular thanks to ms. hupp, a constituent from the state of texas, whose testimony i think was moving and powerful, and your personal life experience, i think, is very important for this debate. and i would urge anyone interested in assessing what the proper standard is for protecting our right to keep and bear arms to watch ms. hupp's testimony, to see her personal
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experience of the importance of the right to keep and bear arms to protect ourselves and protect our family. i would also note in the interest of full disclosure that as a law student i took constitutional law from professor tribe and that my very first employer in private practice was chuck cooper. [laughter] and with both of you on each end of this table, i would simply say you are both held harmless should i make any mistakes of constitutional law. [laughter] i'll take the brunt of all of that myself rather that attributing any blame to either one of you. mr. cooper, a lot of discussion today has been had that the second amendment allows what is described as reasonable, common sense regulations. and reasonableness is a term that encompasses a lot. i'd like to understand the scope of the argument that was made by
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washington, d.c. and chicago in the heller case and the mcdonald case. as i understand it, both washington, d.c. and chicago with the support of a great many groups who are now calling for gun control regulation made the argument that the second amendment right to keep and bear arms does not protect any individual whatsoever. and if i understand that correctly, that would mean under their interpretation that this congress could pass a law that says it is a federal offense, it is a crime for any american to own any firearm whatsoever; pistol, shotgun, rifle, any firearm is hereby criminalized. am i correct that the position that was advocated in this those cases -- in those cases is just that radical? >> it was just that sweeping, senator cruz.
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the claim made by the cities in those cases was that the second amendment protects only a collective right, a right relevant only with respect to the organized militia. it was rejected by the supreme court, and that rejection reiterated and reaffirmed in mcdonald. rejected initially in heller. the court said, mr. chairman refers back to your earlier question. the court was quite clear that concerns by the founders and the framing generation about tyranny and the notion that a standing army could disarm the populace, disarm the people was at the root of the codification in the bill of rights of the second amendment. it wasn't the core concern, however, of that founding generation and of the people at the time. the core concern, the central
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component according to the majority in heller was self-defense. and it also recognized the lawful purpose of hunting. so people had a individual, fundamental right, senator cruz, to keep and bear arms for those lawful purposes, the core of which -- and i've earlier characterized it as absolute, and i reiterate that -- the core of which was to keep an operable firearm in the home for the purpose of self-defense. >> and, mr. cooper, am i correct the first argument in those cases was that it was not an individual right at all, or that it was not incorporated against the states in mcdonald -- >> collectively. >> but the second argument was that even if it was, that a total ban on firearms as washington, d.c. and chicago had constituted reasonable, common sense gun control even if it did protect a right. in other words, it was a right that could be legislated entirely out of existence. >> that's -- a right that could
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include a sweeping and comprehensive ban on the possession of an operable firearm in the home. >> now, professor tribe, many have made justice to justice scalia's opinion in heller that recognize there's some or limits on the second amendment. am i correct that heller went further than that and enumerated examples, namely, a ban on felons owning firearms was permissible, a ban on what heller characterized as dangerous and unusual weapons such as m-16 machine guns satisfied the second amendment. heller did not once suggest that the sort of restrictions here in terms of when it was enumerates examples of restrictions, the sorts of restrictions currently being considered by the 123459, heller did not say those would be permissible, did it? >> certainly, senator cruz, it
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did not have these in front of it, but it said in footnote 26 that the examples it gave were only examples. and if there is any regulation that could survive second amendment scrutiny, it's the kind of regulation that's being considered, namely -- >> well, but it did say what was critical was whether the particular weapons were in common use at the time, is that correct? >> that's not, with all respect, senator cruz, quite respect. it said the they're not in common use at the time, as the happened gun had been, then they're out of jurisdiction for protection. but being in common use at the time did not itself guarantee that they were within the core. otherwise, if you flood the market with machine guns, with m-16s so that they are suddenly in common use, then they would get the kind of protection the court said they didn't have. >> although m-16s currently are functionally illegal for the public to enjoy. fully automatic machine guns --
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>> that's right. but if you flood the market, it would no longer be unconstitutional to outlaw them. that's why the court -- >> but they're not in common use right now, are they? >> they're not. >> okay. and final question because my time has expired. with the chairman's indulgence, i'd like to ask a final question of ms. hupp which is if you look at the nation of australia which in 1997 banned guns, australia saw from 1995 to 2007 sexual assaults and rape increase 29.9% and violent crime increase 42.2%. largely after they had banned guns altogether. in contrast, the united states during that same time saw violent crime decrease 31.8% and rape decrease 19.2%. to my mind, that data suggests that allowing law-abiding citizens to arm themselves and
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in particular protecting the right of women to protect themselves is an important safeguard against violet offenses. violent offenses. are you aware of any data or any argument to the contrary that's stripping women of the right to defend themselves, does not make them more vulnerable to violent predators? >> well, you're asking me to provide, i believe, some statistical evidence that i don't have with me. um, common sense, i believe, we have talked about common sense gun laws and saying something is common sense doesn't necessarily make it so. but common sense tells me that if my aged grandmother in a wheelchair is approached by three thugs with baseball bats wanting her social security check, if she pulls out a revolver, now all of a sudden she is on equal footing.
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um, if i may, i would like to offer a couple of things that i believe could be done to help eradicate these mass shootings that seem to be so prevalent in the last couple of decades. one thing is that we could, that you all could encourage states to get rid of gun-freesons. because -- gun-free zones. because isn't it fascinating that nearly all of these mass shootings we've seen have occurred in gun-free zones, places where there are so many people that are like fish in a barrel. these mass shootings don't occur at the dreaded gun show. they don't occur at nra conventions or skeet and trap shoots. they occur where mad men want to go and be able to shoot people who are defenseless are. murderer and crimes of passion
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have been occurring in this world since the dawn of man, and nothing, nothing that your committee can do will change that, unfortunately. the second thing i would strongly recommend is i would encourage or i would ask you all to encourage the media -- not legislate, but encourage the media -- to quit using the murderers' name. these people typically come from a background of bullying, so they know there is an aspect of glory to these mass murders. they know they're going to go down in the history books. and if you can ask the media to stop using their names after that first day and, secondly, if the person actually doesn't put a bullet in their own head or they're not killed in the process, when they go to trial, black out their faces. stop encouraging their infamy. >> thank you very much, ms. hupp. my time has expired.
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>> senator graham. >> thank you all. the last round of questioning i asked a question of our first witness. what percentage of people who fail a background check actually get prosecuted. and i should have asked actually get convicted, because it's even less. so you can check our math, but he said there were about 80,000 background checks, and some of them are false positive, a small number, so that would definitely effect the numbers, but not a whole lot. there were 44 people prosecuted. i don't know exactly how many were convicted. but in 2010 there were 76,142 fbi denials referred to atf. there were 62 charges referred for prosecution and 13 resulted in a guilty plea. but when you do the math, it's
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55 one hundred-thousandths of a percent. and that gets to be where i can't really put my arms around it. so the point i guess i'm trying to make to the committee and the public at large, if you expand background checks and no one ever suffers the consequences of lying or making a straw purchase, i don't think it's going to do much good. professor tribe, do you agree with the concept that people to obey the law, they have to fear that there will be a consequence if they break it? >> i certainly do. and i think that the fear of a really serious consequence rather or than a slap on the wrist would make a difference. but the key point, to me, is that when you have so many loopholes so that somebody who thinks he's going flunk a background check unless he lies goes to a gun show or buys on the internet, of course the system of background checks is not going to work. it works only better, it works
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better the more universal you make it. >> with well, why don't we -- will you agree that criminals universeally will try to get a gun outside the law? >> and they'll try to violate the law in every way, i agree. >> absolutely. so it's never really universal, it's really about law-abiding citizens, what we expect of them. and i guess my point is this number, to me, is startling. i think if you looking for some common ground, mr. cooper, seems to be this -- seems to me this a good place to start. if it's an attitude problem, let's adjust attitudes. but in all honesty to the panel, i don't think any expansion of background checks is going to be a deterrent until somebody in a real way suffers the consequences under the current system. so when you say people fall through the cracks, i would say there is a hole a mile wide in the current system. i mean, it is just a floodgate
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that your chance of being prosecuted for violating a background check or providing false information is probably a lot less than being struck by lightning or hit by a meteor. >> but, senator -- >> i don't know what those numbers are, but i would say let's focus on that. now, dr. tribe, when it comes to defining what the constitutional parameters of what you can do up here to regulate gun ownership, one is common usage. there were to two other -- >> right. the two others, senator graham, thank you for giving me a chance to get to them, were the degree of unusual dangerousness, and that was not simply another way of saying "common use." that is, of course, all guns are dangerous, or they would be useless. but a gun that can spray bullets without being reloaded is more dangerous. and the third criterion was how vital it is to self-defense. now, none of those things can be
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answered in a kind of easy, black and white way. because in a sense, the more dangerous a gun is, the more useful it also is for self-defense. >> well, that's a good point, and i guess that's what i'm trying to tell the public. could you put our chart up about the guns? ms. hupp, am i pronouncing your name right? i think we all agree that any weapon, one bullet in the hands of a mentally unstable person is one too many, do you all agree with that concept? any gun should be denied someone who's mentally unstable. >> yes. >> i do. >> okay. and i think everybody would. and we don't want felons because that's already the existing law. now, a circumstance you've described, the circumstance you found yourself in, ms. hupp, but there's a case in atlanta recently, dr. tribe, of a hatety who was defending her -- of a lady who was defending her home. she ran up to the closet, hid in
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the closet. she was on the phone to her husband. the guy followed up the steps, broke into the closet. she had a is six-shot revolver. she emptied the gun, hit him five of six times, and it was a .38 revolver. he was still able to get up and drive away. i've been told of one-third of all attacks involve more than two people. so is it unfair for congress to say that in the hands of a mother defending her children against a home invader, six rounds may not be enough, ten rounds may not be enough in that situation, i wish she would have had 15 or more because six rounds were not able to do the job. does that make sense to you how i could think that way? >> well, it makes a certain kind of sense, senator graham, but it's an argument that has no limit. because if she had a machine gun, she might have been even safer. if she had, you know, if she had a hand grenade, better still,
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blow them all up -- >> but here's where democracy works, i don't want her to have a machine gun or hand grenade. i just don't want her to be limited to ten bullets when the whole world, everything's a balance, she may need more than ten, and the mentally unstable person doesn't need more than one. now, the second series of weapons, after natural disasters you've had mobs roam around areas that are lawless. basically, there's no power, police can't get there. katrina, sandy, haiti, you name it. you've got three homes. one homer has no one -- one homeowner has no gun, the second a shotgun, the third an ar-13. what do you think would be better protected? >> i'd rather be in the home with the ar-15, senator graham, but a shotgun would come in very handy as well. and i think that your comments about the atlanta episode really
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bring into very sharp focus why this magazine ban is so misguided in addition to -- >> high-capacity magazines out on the market, right? >> there are. and -- >> and criminals are likely to get them no matter what we do up here. >> they will undoubtedly get them. >> and only person that could be really affected is the law-abiding person who could be limited. duds that make sense? >> absolutely. >> now, we can have disagreements on how far the second amendment goes, and there are limits to free speech. so i just hope the committee will understand a good place to start, mr. chairman, is taking the laws we have and bringing about a sense of you better not violate that law, because something bad will happen to you. and when you're at 55 of one-one hundred thousandths of prosecution, we've got a long
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way to go. >> thank you, senator graham, for being part of the hearing. ms. hupp, your story about your parents is heartbreaking and touching, really, as i agree with senator cruz. it's manager that everyone should hear -- it's something that everyone should hear. i would like to ask you a couple questions about some things that you've said. you stated, again, what you said before, that nearly all mass shootings in recent years have occurred in gun-frees. the mayors against illegal guns did an analysis of every reported mass shooting defined by the fbi as involving four or more people. being killed. between january 2009 and january of this year, of the 43 mass shootings by fbi definition, 14 of those mass shootings, about a third, took place in public places that were considered gun-free zones. one-third gun-free zones.
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the rest took place in private homes or public places where concealed/carry was permitted. in light of this analysis, do you still stand by your statement that, quote, nearly all mass shootings in recent years have occurred in gun-free zones? >> yes, i would. and the reason i say that is because i'd like to know what the numbers are. you mentioned that they said four or more they're calling a mass shooting? >> by fbi definition. >> but certainly the ones you and i hear about when we turn on the news are more like seven or or -- like ten or more or six or seven or more. and in all those places that i can think of, they have occurred in places where guns were not allowed. and i believe, i believe that the four or five category that you're talking about, that has a different intent behind it. you mentioned that they were typically in homes. >> no, it said the rest took place in private homes or public
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places where concealed/carry was permitted. >> okay. in a private home situation, i'm assuming that most of those are going to be cases where you have some family member who's gone berserk, and i believe it's a different scenario. the one hinge that i can assure you -- the one thing that i can assure you is having a gun is not going to prevent somebody from come anything and shooting their estranged wife and the person sitting next to them, it's not -- >> so let me ask you -- >> but it will prevent the high body bag count. >> illinois has the distinction of being the last state without a carry law. there are a lot of choices to make in terms of concealed/carry. the violence policy center reported that since may of 2007 there have been at least 499 people, including 14 law enforcement officers, shot and killed either by concealed/carry permit holders or by gunmen in the four states where there's no permit at all required.
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these shootings include incidents such as june 6, 2010, the murder of four women in hialeah, florida, by a man who had reportedly served time in a cuban prison but had a concealed/carry weapon under florida law. the april 4, 2009, killing of three pennsylvania police officers by a white supremacist who had a concealed/carry permit even though a former girlfriend had a protection order against him. and july 23, 2011, murder of five people at a roller rink in grand prairie, texas, your home state, by a gunman who was a reported domestic abuser and was carrying a concealed weapon legally under texas law. so i just would like to ask you this question: what standards can we, should we apply to concealed/carry permit holders to avoid abuses such as these? >> that's a weighty question.
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when you were referring to the roller rink, i thought of our local roller rink, and the owner actually requires that all of his employees carry to prevent just that scenario. um, i will have to revert back to what i said earlier. a gun is not a guarantee. it just changes the odds. and a tool that can be used to kill a family or a tool that can be used to protect a family. but it seems to me that you all are focusing on the tool. if i were to take, and i hate to say this out loud, honestly, because i have children in a public school. but is there any doubt in anyone's mind that the maniac that went into the sandy hook elementary could not have murdered as many children if he had carried a samurai sword? my con tension is -- my contention is that guns are very effective tools, and in the right hands can prevent some
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dreadful things. >> so, ms. wortham, your experience with your brother, a law enforcement officer who was armed, your father nearby with a gun and, sadly, despite that your brother lost his life. you've heard this argument now on both sides. and where do you come down on this? how do you -- as you reflect on this? >> right. so perspective is everything, and i think ms. hupp's story is horrible. i was telling her at the break that i read it, and i was traumatized, but i think that what we know, as i said in my statement, is they were both armed in thomas' -- and thomas is dead. and it's true, it betters your odds sometimes. but i also think that we're kind of not focused on what we're on the big picture here. and i think that's what kind of concerns me. it isn't about disarming law-abiding people. we're talking about doing our best to keep the guns away from people who should never have them in the first place, right?
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so i feel like we're going off track a lot here with the focus on people should have guns, people should have guns. i don't think anyone's saying that there should not be a right to bear arms. i don't think anyone's saying that here. i think what we're saying is that the second amendment doesn't prevent us, you, the law-making body here, from looking at ways that we know we can try and reduce the amount of people who shouldn't have guns from having them so that situations like ms. hupp's, like ours, like all the families who are here this weekend, we won't see them as much. and i think that's what we should talk about more than saying, yeah, guns are helpful sometimes. they sure are, but -- >> your case i've read about, and you've told quite a bit about. none of the four suspects who were involved in your brother's murder was eligible to buy a handgun from a licensed gun seller. three of the suspects were under the legal age to buy a handgun, and the fourth had served six years in prison on a drug
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charge. as far as we know, these suspects did not even try to buy a handgun from a licensed seller. that's just a conclusion we've reached. they bought a traffic gun from a private seller on the streets. so in general, do you think that ineligible buyers are deterred from trying to get guns from licensed gun dealers because of the fact that they're going to face a background check? >> i think that's definitely helpful, yes. i mean, i think, i think they go the way that they know they won't have to be subjected to that, so yes. >> even getting back to senator graham's prosecution numbers, and we started the hearing talking about these are paperwork crimes and often don't carry strong penalties and the prosecutor has limited resources to apply to enforcing the law and so forth. i think it is fairly obvious and rational to believe some of these gang bangers are never going to walk in a gun dealer's. >> right. and i think the part, all due respect to senator graham, that we missed with the chart was
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that, yeah, maybe the prosecution of those who were flagged as not eligible for guns is not what we would like it to be. but we miss the fact that they were flagged as not eligible for guns. so the tool is still an effective deterrent, and that part is not displayed in the chart with the numbers of of the maybe not so great prosecution numbers. so i think we miss that in depicting the numberings that way. >> professor webster, one of the things i find interesting is kind of the hands-off attitude congress takes when it comes to these issues. to think of the number of americans who die from violent gun crime and the like and the fact that we have expressly prohibited certain agencies of government of doing any research into gun violence and how to reduce it, we don't think twice about calling for research in reducing epidemics and reducing the incidence of disease. can you talk from a public health perspective about the problem of gunshot deaths in our
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country and what you think we need to do to address it. >> sure. um, as i indicated in my testimony, i think from a policy standpoint really the most important thing is that we currently make it way too easy for criminals to get guns. and there are some common sense ways to address that. we need comprehensive background checks. we are never going to be effective without that. as, as is indicated by the numbers, it's difficult to prosecute them, and that's, frankly, by design. the laws are written in a way to minimize accountability for those who are buying and selling firearms. i think that's very wrongheaded. i have several studies that i've conducted ha show consistent evidence -- that show consistent evidence that states that have greater measures to hold firearm sellers and purchasers accountable have substantially
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less diversion of guns to criminals, they also happen to enyou some of the lowest -- enjoy some of the lowest rates of firearm mortality among the 50 states. so i think there are things we can do, again, that focus on really what most of us agree upon. none of us want dangerous people to have guns, yet congress has currently given us a set of laws that make it very difficult for law enforcement to do what we want them to do which is keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. >> thank you, professor weber the. and i want to thank the panel for your patience and forbearance as we raced around doing our roll calls. the record will be open for a few days. professor tribe, you know this, you're a regular. and there may be some questions sent your way, and i hope if you can, that you'll respond promptly. there's a lot of interest in this subject and in today's hearing, more than 120 individuals and organizations submitted written testimony.
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i'm supposed to be showing you a big stack of them, but i'm going to skip that. and without objection, i'm going to ask these statements be placed inside in the record. written questions for the panelists may be submitted, as i mentioned, and if there are no further questions for the panel, i'm going to ask that this hearing stand adjourned. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the senate appropriations committee holds a hearing today on the potential impact of automatic spending cuts known as sequestration. members will hear from cabinet secretaries from homeland security, hud, education and defense and the white house budget controller. live coverage at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. >> today booktv features author stephen hess on his new book, "whatever happened to the washington reporters." we'll be live with the author from politics and prose bookstore in washington, d.c. at 7 p.m. eastern on booktv.org. >> he thought she was the
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smartest person he ever knew, and he knew how much she loved him, and he knew that she would tell him the truth. she wasn't going to -- >> sugar coat. >> that's right. she budget going to sugar -- she wasn't going to sugar coat. and one of the tapes i absolutely love is the one where she's analyzing the speech. he asked her to do it, but she was really tough on him. >> is that righted out nice. >> she started out -- [laughter] mother always would start off nice. [laughter] but, you know, she just, no, i think you should do -- and he would tell me all the time, he said your mother has the best judgment of anybody. you should always listen to your mother. and he was just devoted to her. >> remembering ladybird johnson on the 100th an rester have ri
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of her -- anniversary of her birth sunday night at 7:30 on c-span3's american history tv. >> now, from the atlantic magazine, a forum on u.s. manufacturing. a discussion on the impact of technological advancement and the changing definition of manufacturing. this is 50 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> am i on? [inaudible conversations] >> check your mic? >> i think we're on, right? >> okay. so we're going to go into the next panel now. my name is kevin delaney, i'm editor in chief on quartz, and it's a global business news site covering some of the issues that we're going to talk about today. i was a technology reporter for "the wall street journal" for a number of years and the managing
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editor of "the wall street journal"'s web site before then. this panel, as you know, is focused on industry, the impact of technology on industry which has been a topic that has been discussed throughout the day. we're going to go deeper into it and focus, and talk with some people who have specific expertise in probably some of the core technology and the technology policy that affects manufacturing. so i'm going to start by introducing our panelists. we'll start with neil gershenfeld, the director of the center for bits and atoms at mit, and this is a center that explores the boundaries between computer science and physical science. he's also the author of a book called "fab" which is focused on some of the issues that we'll talk about today. sitting next to him is tom kalil who's joining us from the white house. the deputy director for policy for the office of science and technology policy, senior adviser for science, technology and innovation for the national
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economic council. he's on leave from uc berkeley. and next, sitting next to him is avi reichental, he's the ceo of 32 systems -- 3d company, they manufactured the first 3d printed technology 30 years ago, and it was -- >> a cup. >> l a cup. and then sitting at the far end is rob atkinson. he's the founder and president of the information technology and innovation foundation which is a think tank based on, focused on technology issues. the obama administration appointed him to the national innovation and competitiveness strategy advisory board and, among other things, he's written books about innovation economics. so we're going to dive right in. i want to start by talking about this moment in history in technology and talk about some of the technology elements that
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are actually coming together now to make this a meaningful discussion in a way that's probably more true than it would have been a few years ago. so, um, i wanted to start with you, avi, do you want to give -- >> absolutely. i personally think that we live in an incredible moment in recorded human history because of the convergence of the technologies that together make manufacturing and creativity democratized, localized and possible. and specifically i'm talking about the convergence of computing power in the cloud, mobile devices, artificial intelligence, robotics and incredibly accurate and inexpensive sensors like the one that you have in your kinect xbox and 3d printing that when used in combination can completely transform the way that we educate, communicate,
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deliver personalized medical devices and manufacture and empower millions of people to begin to procreate with brands and companies and manufacture for themselves. so i'm personally very excited because i think that we're really fortunate to be the recipients of this incredible convergence. >> neil, do you want to jump in? >> sure. so most everything you've heard about the technical future of manufacturing is wrong. but it's okay because the arc is right, but the current stories you're reading are wrong, and if we have time, we'll go into that in more detail. there's a very, very precise, detail. hard to use, lots of different racks, lots of cables, unfriendly, but that's when e-mail, the internet, word processing, video game, computer art, all of that happened. hobbyist computers, hard to use,
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didn't do much, inspired a generation of people like me. then pcs. the pc integrated all of that in one box. today we are precisely in the transition from the mini compute tore the hobbyist era. the pc in one box was everything. processing, storage, io in an easy-to-use form. today it takes about $100,000 in equipment to make modern technology. we're transitioning to these hobbyist computers equivalent which are emerging today, and we're still 10-20 years from the real personal replicator which makes absolutely everything. technically, that's the interesting research, but the lesson from that story is the internet was invented in the pdp era. so what's happening today is the invention of how we live, work and play with this technology. what it's going the look like at the end of that evolution is very different from what you see today, but what it can do is the same as you see today, the form will change.
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and the script that's playing out exactly verbatim is when the big computer companies said, oh, those are toys about pcs before their business blew up, the big manufacturing companies are looking at that and saying, there, there, that's nice, play with your toys before their business blows up, and entirely new businesses are going to come. so we're observing at that moment the internet was doubling expo exponentially one, two, four eight. these technologies we're talking about today, likewise, have been doubling exponentially. it still seems small, but just the straight doubling is going to explode. >> so we're going to talk about the economic impact. tom, student to -- >> yeah. so i think the interesting thing is if you look at why there's so much innovation that is occurring in internet and web and apps, it's because the cost of trying something out is so low. so you can have the proverbial three people, you know, living on ramen noodles for a couple
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months, developing an application, putting it up on the web and seeing -- >> so true in software, but it's now more true in manufacturing. >> so the question is whether these new technologies create that same opportunity around manufacturing. so whether it's cad software getting easier to use, being able to rent the means of production as as opposed to owning them, access to entrepreneurs of cnc machine tools, laser cutters, water cutters, 3-d printers for the cost of a gym membership. to me, that's the interesting thing is whether in the same way that the internet and the cloud and open source software allow this huge proliferation, this explosion of start-ups, whether that same level of innovation can occur in the manufacturing space because you no longer have to invest, you know, millions of dollars to develop a prototype. >> i think we should talk about
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where the impact of this technology will be felt in big corporations, in the people who are more hobbyists at this stage. but before we do that, i want to hear about the specific technologies that you believe will have the most impact, um, when they're deployed in these uses. i want to hear from each one of you about the technologies that are most interesting, most exciting, most significant. do you want to start, neil? >> sure. so, um, what we're talking about is how you turn data into things and things into data. um, shannon did that for communication, they were both analog. we're now doing it for manufacturing. digital manufacturing hasn't happened yet. meaning in 1952 mit connected a computer to a milling machine. since then many other things have been computer controlled. today you can make modern technology -- again, just a rough number is $100,000 to buy added and subtracted in 3d and
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2d. if you wanted a self-sufficient, modern facility, it's about 100 machines. it's a suite of technologies. the real story technically coming now is not added or subtracted, you're built by a computer that builds molecular lego. the parts correct r record, the parts let you unbuild. the fundamental science isn't another computer-controlled tool, it's actually putting codes and programs into materials. that's when you get the enormous scalability. that's when you get the complexity. that's, for example, when technical trash goes away because you can unbuild as well as build. so the suite of machines today is sort of a surrogate using a bunch of different processes for eventually what we're doing to do by in this deep sense coding construction. now, it may sound like an ab tract distinction -- >> it sounds like science
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fiction. >> but it's the same abstract distinction as analog versus telephone calls versus the internet or analog computers. so a number of research groups are studying from molecules up to buildings how the code -- [inaudible] that's the real scientific revolution. >> can you give an example how we might encounter exactly that at some point in the future? >> to oh, it's coming in a few years. and so let me describe three different projects in my lab working on coded construction materials very briefly. one is making things that work like ribosome does, but it lets us engineer. and we're using it to sort of 3-d print molecular nanostructures. and the reason we're doing that is to help with the creation of life. you design organisms as sort of the ultimate 3-d printing project. so that's with huge implications for molecular manufacturing. >> okay. >> that's nanometers. on microns we're making -- think of lego as you understand it,
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but microscale, micron lebgo where we stand together a microlego with a tabletop machine to make 3-d electronics that you can also unbuild. so moving electronics to a tabletop microassembler. and hen we're working with aerospace companies on instead of having a billion dollar investment on a factory the size of this whole building to make discreetly-assembled composite legos that let you snap together jumbo jets that are ligher and stronger. the key distinction is you're not extruding goo, you're linking discreet parts with information. so on each of those scales, we're building assemblers that build with things spiritually like lego bricks but with properties -- >> and the life and the living organic lego bits, the first
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example you mentioned, presumably has medical applications? >> also for health care, for biomanufacturring, for bioengineering, things like that. >> okay. >> and understand, everything i'm describing now about that research is new to many computers other than molecular biologists. this is what they do for a living. molecular biology codes to construct. it's not additive or subtractive. it's fundamentally discreet in assembling or disassembling. we're building the machinery for that into macro scales. >> tom, what's sort of the bleeding edge, the cutting edge that we're talking about here is the most significant? >> so the role of the government is to invest in a broad portfolio and not necessarily have a specific view -- >> you won't tell us your personal favorite? >> so the nsf, for example, is investing in the center for wits and atoms. -- bits and atoms. >> yeah. >> but one area that i think is
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interesting is this intersection between engineering and biology. we traditionally have not thought of biology as a platform for manufacturing, but in the same way that we've had this huge improvement in our ability to read dna, we've gone from $100 million for the first human genome to rapidly approaching the thousand dollar genome. the same thing so occurring in our ability to write dna. so the notion of being able to program single-celled organisms to take sunlight and co2 and turn that into renew bl chem -- renewable chemicals that reduce our dependence on foreign oil, i think, will be one early application of that. >> and what stage would you describe a that as being? >> there's a fair amount of start-up activity that is already starting to happen, so you see a lot of activity that is at the pilot plant. so this is not, you know, 10, 20 years out. we're really seeing activity.
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but there's a lot of research that remains to be done in this area. >> avi, do you want to take the same question? >> so i will be the contrarian, which is an unusual position. usually he's the contrarian. >> i'm not always. [laughter] >> but here is the, here is the deal in terms of what we do. half of the printers that we sell today -- and that's been true for the last few years -- are going to direct manufacturing applications. where and how are they being applied today. so 90 parts on every f-18 that is in service today are printed and have been printed for the last ten years, and we're now working with air force and the f-35 suppliers to transition the same technology to the f-35. every invisiline liner you get and about 65,000 unique and
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distinctive liners are manufactured daily are printed. >> so those are the dental -- >> invisiline, yeah, the alternative to traditional -- so 65,000 articles daily. each one unique and distinct. that's the essence of mass customization, are being printed and have been printed for nearly a decade, and it's growing. most of your dental restorations, if you investigate a little bit how the dental lab supplies your dentist, most of your crown, bridge, implant guides and partial dentures, the understructures are being printed and have been printed. every hearing aid that a person uses today, 100% of the ear canal device that is stuffed with electronics. most of the guided imprints that you look at companies are using
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toddies today toddies pose able, printed guides. and i can go on and on. companies that had ten years ago disruptive business models launched businesses and scaled to significant commercial success, and the same is true, you know, increasingly there is -- [inaudible] for complex assemblies that get combined. and so what i wanted to say is that in the here and now there is an increasing adaptation of printing because it's flexible, it combines many different, difficult assemblies into one, and it allows for infinite complexity. the printer doesn't care if it
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prints a complex ree geometry or a simple one. >> i want to pull rob is. just to go back to the simple question of what do you think is exciting, what is your view? >> i have to start by saying i don't think it's this. i don't think it's 3-d printing, and i will tell you what i do think it is. so the 3-d printing community, essentially, has this vision that we're all going to be manufacturers. it'll be, you know, general atkinson motors, you know, i'll be making my own car. and is right now you can kind of do a rough estimate that less than 1% of manufacturing value added is made by individuals. i just made a week shelf a couple -- a book shelf of a couple months ago. that's a manufactured good, i didn't buy it. so i'll assert that in 20 years it'll be less than 5%. i just don't think -- you look around this building, we're not going to individually. so i think it's an interesting thing. the same question is within
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corporations how big is this going to be. and, again, i don't -- i agree with you, avi, that these things are there. largely a small, discreet product production we're not going to be making, you know, ford's not going to be -- when fort's stamp's at a lot of doors, they're not going to be making doors on 3-d printing. they're going to continue to stamp doors because it's so much cheaper than printing, and it will always be cheaper than printing. printing is super, super slow. the last question is why are we talking about technology. we're talking about technology largely in the context of the u.s. manufacturing sector in the last decade suffered its worst performance in america's 235-year history. it lost 10% of its output. so the real question is are there technologies that are right there that we are going to gain an advantage, and i think there's sort of this assumption that just because it's a technological innovation, we're
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going to gain the advantage. and i just would question that. there are a lot of other countries out there doing all this work. so what's the technology? i think the technology is, essentially, smart manufacturing. i think it's the integration of i.t. throughout the entire production system. manufacturing is still sort of stupid, if you will. parts are not integrated into a digital system, and i think that's the big thing, i think, that really will have a big, big impact within the next decade. >> okayment so we're going to disagree? >> yeah. we're going to focus on 3-d printing and the impact, the industrial impacts. do you want to -- neil, do you want to -- >> first of all, i didn't disagree with anything you said. i disagreed with what you said, but i think it's a false dichotomy. i do believe in history. if you look at music or software, music was done by the labels, software was done by microsoft or ibm. then came the internet, pcs, tablets and mp3 players. anybody can create software or
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make music. nobody pays anything. what's settled is it's not one versus the other, it's ecology of markets that didn't exist. there's markets of 1, 10, 100,000, a million. there's still labels, but i would argue they're the least interesting things happening now. the most interesting stuff in music or in software is in the psychology of intermediate-sized markets. what we see happening today is these tools that are useful today are creating entirely new markets where i disagree where people make houses, they make cars, they make boats for themselves. they're compelling. it's not -- it doesn't scale. it doesn't scale in exactly the same way that making mp3 tracks or apps doesn't scale, it's a different ecosystem in the market. so have your conventional manufacturing, it'll be better, but i think it'll also be boring because it's making what everybody needs that that's the
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same. the real ferment of activity is where stuff is different. >> there's no question that big manufacturing is there. my son was playing soccer when he was a younger kid. he'd go to adee adidas and for like five bucks more he'd get customized shoes. but that's not fred, that's adidas at some factory using advanced technology and cad and cnc to make those shoes. i don't dispute that we're going to have much more customized manufacturing, and that's going to be our advantage. my only point is we're not going to ever -- at least in the next 20 years we're not moving to an economy where individuals are going to be making large numbers of things. you'll make some things, but it's not going to be a -- >> there's a tremendous bias in that that the word manufacturing means building remote from people. you ship stuff out of it. the rate of history, that'll still exist. there's going to be central manufacturing, regional manufacturing, city wide manufacturing down at the end of your street manufacturing, in your house manufacturing. it's going to become,
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technically, what's enabled is that becomes a continuum of scales. and each of those scales has relative melters. i agree -- merits. there's going to be many scales that weren't viable before today. >> yeah. it's not going on the an either/or. it's going to be a business model in which some of these big manufacturing companies will have to think of how they're going to enable their consumer base to co-create with them. >> and to give you an example -- >> and some things. [inaudible conversations] >> absolutely. but the real question is we've got two trillion, three trillion in manufacturing, but the real question is are we going to get above, you know, a billion dollars in this? and we're not. >> let me give you a great example. >> so when we get to 50 billion, i think we can have a conversation. >> here's a vignette of what i think the future will look like. a colleague who runs one of these community technology fab labs in barcelona just became
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the city architect. he's now planning the city. the connection is 50% youth unemployment. the whole economy has crashed, no opportunity for youth. yet ships come in with the products made in your factories, get consumed and put in trash dumps. what they're doing as crash urban policy is filling the city with these digital fabrication labs. it's globally connected for knowledge. they're not self-sufficient locally, but they're bringing back into the city skills and jobs that were, um, far away. now, any one of those products, again, the incremental time or cost doesn't compete with the factory. this works when a few things change. one is if everything you make is different. one is if you change the supply chain so it's local, and one is if you value the role to have local production in the economy. and all of those things are leading to this sort of infrastructure as a key part of urban planning. >> to be clear, i -- look, the whole maker movement, the maker fare, there's something like what you're talking about that just got established in detroit.
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those are wonderful things and, you know, tom, you've played an important role in supporting those in the white house. i'm not saying that's not real, it's not important. it's just not going to be the savior where we need another million or two million manufacturing jobs. i just don't think we should be putting all of our eggs in that basket or even most of our eggs. it's a nice thing, it's important, but it's not the savior. >> do you want to jump in? i mean, there's some national -- the discussion here has some national policy implications, essentially, to what extent is 3-d printing a consumer economic. i think you both agree that -- >> digital fabrication. >> digital fabrication. [inaudible conversations] >> why am i saying digital fabrication? [laughter] >> so in a well equipped shop with the tools we're describing -- [inaudible conversations] there's a laser that cuts, there's a wire that cuts, there's, you can assemble, you can deposit, a whole suite of
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computer-controlled -- >> yeah. digital fabrication you both agree is significant, and the question is to what extent as an economic growth engine to what extent is it done on a more consumer, hobbyist individual level, potentially local collective level as opposed to an industrial level, to what extent is it significant? ..
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>> last year the administration announced a government industry university collaboration, where the government is going to be investing roughly 30 or $40 million in advanced manufacturing, r&d related, and that's been matched by the private sector. but having worked on, just started in public policy, starting to work on information and communications technology policies in the white house in 93, my experience is nobody knows anything. if you go back in 1993 in the white house, if you go back in 1993, all the companies were persuaded that it was going to be fundamental demand, and then they also thought it was going to be some new technology called asynchronous transfer mode. not a whole lot of people are
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using asynchronous transfer mode. but that was consensus. so i think the role the government is greatly broadly enabling environment, and have a portfolio approach in investments, in research and development. i think the are a number of things that come setting aside the right technology, i think there's a number of things that are attractive about the idea of making it easier for entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. >> i think that plays to a core strength. so anything that we can reduce the time and cost with developing new products and reducing the capital requirements i think is going to be a win for the training. >> one thing that you mentioned was materials. this may be lower on your list. last week, europe just announced
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they were funding to the tune of 1 billion euros in research into crafting. if you haven't heard about it, it's worth looking at. it's the carbon structure that is stronger than steel and more productive than copper and has lots of bendable, lots of very intuitive and industrial applications in your phone, and computers and things like that. and so we've just seen europe collectively make a big bet on research into wrangling with it and try to get into some industrial cases. you are shaking your head. >> i'm shaking my head. most of it -- where you missed it was sort of the golden version is there's a machine and then there's material. you design the machine and then you design a toothpaste tube put in with madrid. what we're describing now, the
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material in the process of using the thing you make a much more closely integrated. so although the research i just described was developing new material, but your new material comes at the same time as the new process, they are much more tightly integrated. >> let me give you an example. this is an alternative to carpal tunnel and brace -- and brace that is printed. it was printed for me. it's unique to me because i was able to scan my hand. eye scan my hand, and i uploaded it to the cloud, and speak connect is a microsoft videogame. >> with my camera and with a very inexpensive sensors i can now create something that is simulated, ma dishwasher will, functional, you know, and cool
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and it fits me. the point here is that it's not that the single technology is going to change, you know, entrepreneurship and manufacturing. the convergent and democrat position of information -- democratization, sensing technology, infinite computing that is accessible to me at home as it is to a manufacture, and material science income and nation is going to great opportunity to disrupt manufacturing and consumption as we know it. it's also going to change how we educate and how kids learn. it's going to change how we tell stories. it's going to change how we create entertainment, and there are going to be a lot of intersections between science and music and biology and everything else. that's why i'm excited about it. >> i think the way we think
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about materials is wrong. everyone is looking for what's the magic material that's going to save everything and transform everything. i think it administration has it right that there's this cool thing called material genome initiative, and hardly anybody knows about it. but what it is is basically this almost map if you of al all the materials and what the property or, and when you're materials engineer, it's amazing how little you know really about this. it's an underfunded initiative. no criticism of the administration, but we don't funded those kind of things in the u.s. and i think going down that path, again the material agnostic budget setting an incredible amount of knowledge of the metro system is i think that's a place where we should be starting. >> just to pick up, this is something that president obama announced at a speech he gave at carnegie mellon university, and the goal is to reduce the time and cost that is required to develop advanced because by
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lease 50%, at part of that is by making more information available about properties of materials, and the same way we did with the genome project. it's also improve our ability to use modeling and simulation and characterization and synthesis so that we can move away from relying solely on trial and error. and that someone could say i need a material that does this, and then you would be able to use modeling and simulation to try to predict the properties as opposed to relying solely on outcome, which is where we are in a number of cases today. >> the other thing, that's materials, the of the component that we probably have talked about but it didn't talk about it explicitly is automation. innocents to which technology is accelerating on the automation of production. my guess is you're going to say that's happening at the
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industrial level, and consumer phenomena. >> remember, at the historical moment when pcs emerged and were considered -- they didn't realize they were all beginning to die, there was a hacker culture empowered by the accessibility of the tools that was intending to make a facebook and google and all of that. one thing we haven't touched on today that's important is i see the core competence of the u.s. has neither industry and the research, but culture. that we've done a fabulous job with the hacker movement fast forwarded to making things. and that's the culture that again and the last, the last time we did this script gave us the internet and google and all that. so the hacker culture of making, i see as the economic engine. some of what they're making will be, billion dollar businesses, some will become small businesses.
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so, you know, rather than automation coming up, if you go back to stories like the barcelona star, what is going to do is bring jobs back to communities by leading manufacturing be self-sufficient. and again, don't take that as either or. he may have a house like mine with one of every machine, you may have a tech shop, a lap down the street bigger and you may have a tech shop in your village. you may have an incubator. there's all these powers of 10 of manufacturing. but i think what's next in line is rather than viewing it as automation removing jobs, it's that tools bring jobs back closer to where people are. >> rob, do you see the net impact? >> i think this is an area where there's this unbelievable amount of confusion and error in our thinking. if anybody -- the story was
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essentially the robots are all going to destroy our jobs. by the way, good news today. dls just came out, productivity went down 2% last quarter on an annualized basis. i guess robots are getting fired. they want a vacation. so that's great. the point out that is, the evidence of automation in manufacturing, supporting to the work we've done our colleagues, then we fundamentally this measure manufacturing output. our u.s. government does. and it essentially overstates output. by significant amount. our analysis, thinking. instead in manufacturing output going up 50% in this last decade and it actually went down 10%. instead of productivity being a very high number it was actually a very mediocre number. second point is there's a fair number of good studies would show when companies increase
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productivity, they lose some jobs but they also make up other jobs because things are cheaper, they get more volume and the become more competitive. i think this notion we have that we're trading opportunity to jobs is fundamentally flawed. we simply cannot be competitive in manufacturing and leslie keep raising productivity. we just got to keep our eye on that ball. if we just do that i think everything will work out quite well spent in terms of automation? >> it will mean different kinds of jobs. >> i think that all it is, the convergence of this technology creates an opportunity for competitive advantage, and for tomorrow skills today started with younger kids and exposing them to all of these technologies and capabilities. and owsley of greek with neil that culturally -- and absently agree with neil that we have a real competitive advantage, that if income you know, in
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government, -- empowers. we have an opportunity to ask we take all these technologies and our culture and the research, and create a real sustainable advantage. the reality is there should be a real urgency to do that because it will happen with or without us. the train has left the station. we are uniquely equipped to actually exercise some leadership because of our combined core competency. and if we're not going to do it is going to be done to us. >> do you think, neil, we can start with you, do you think these manufacturers are focused enough on the early stage research, riskier sort of stuff in this sort of equation, economic equation of where they get done in the senate to put real money against earlier, riskier stuff with less payoff than automating an existing
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assembly line or that sort of thing? >> let me keep hammering the point. the word manufacturing, how we coulput out there, and he says s sort of dead, sucks the air out of the room. we can talk about some stuff, went to talk with manufacturing. it has this connotation of serious people in remote building doing something. what we're talking about is a revolution in making exactly what happened to software and music. there's this tremendous diversity. [inaudible] >> i think that would be great. and again it's not -- ill be 10, thousand, a million. given that commonsense, working with, again, timeline data general, ibm survived. if you look at who's going to die is going to survive, the big companies. a thoughtful big companies we are working with get networking. they don't think about our company is are building, is our
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square feet, is our guard, is our fans. it's we're functioning in ecosystem and you do some self biotic we can we do some stuff with partners and to get networks. the ones that seem to be on the dinosaur are the ones that define themselves as structurally. and maybe we can come back later. there's an analogy, the same thing is happening in education. >> you're saying it doesn't matter if the traditional manufacturers are doing to earlier, risky research as long as they are networking because -- but against the question -- [talking over each other] >> inventive people are saying they don't think they're huge, by definition. mit's courthouse but it's -- in a company you do need to behave. and so if you want people to invent have to not behave which means you need to do symbiotic structures. to some degree people follow

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Today in Washington
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